Departments | IROM

Information Systems Doctoral Program

Overview

The Information Systems (IS) doctoral concentration focuses on research issues in understanding the impact of information technology on individuals, organizations, and society. The IS concentration is supervised by a group of world-class scholars who conduct research in areas such as economics of digital products, digital marketplaces, social media, strategic IT management, business value of IT, virtual teams and collaboration technologies, data mining and business analytics, and healthcare IT. The concentration is also featured by the diversity of research methodologies employed by IS faculty members such as mathematical modeling, econometric analyses, experiments, qualitative research, and design research. Faculty members and doctoral students in the IS concentration are constantly in close collaboration with colleagues from other disciplines such as economics, management, computer science, marketing, psychology, sociology, law, and computer engineering.

The concentration aims to train the next generation of leading academics who can advance our knowledge on information systems by rigorous and relevant research. To support this mission, the concentration provides its doctoral students rich opportunities to learn cutting-edge theories and research methods in social science. Upon entering the program, students are expected to spend the first one or two years taking courses and acquaint themselves with current research issues by attending seminars and engaging in one-on-one discussions with the faculty. Each student's course of study is largely customized by the student and his or her faculty adviser to accommodate his or her individual background, experiences, and objectives. Students are also encouraged to become involved with research projects as soon as possible for hand-on experiences. In their advanced years of the program, students often lead their own research projects towards publication in premium academic conferences and journals.

Students who are admitted to the program are usually provided full financial support, including stipend, tuition credit, and benefits, for up to five years (subject to performance). Such support is provided through a combination of fellowships and academic job appointments. In addition, funds are available to support student research, conference attendance, and travel.

Structure & Requirements

Students in the Information Systems doctoral program follow either the Electronic Commerce track or the Organizational Track. In the first year, IS students in both tracks take courses in Decision Support Systems and Information Systems Readings. IS:EC students also take Electronic Commerce and Microeconomics I and II. IS:OT students also take Research Methodology and Organizational Research Design classes. At the end of the first year, each student writes an original research paper which is reviewed by IS faculty.

Information Systems Doctoral Program Core Courses

Electronic Commerce (EC) Organizational Track (OT)
Decision Support Systems (Fall) & Research in Information Systems: Organizational & Behavioral Perspectives (Spring)
Microeconomics I (Fall) Intro to Research Methods in Management (Fall) 
Microeconomics II (Spring) Organizational Research Design (Spring)
Introduction to Electronic Commerce (Spring)  

In the second year, students select two minor fields in order to broaden their scope of knowledge and meet research needs. Students also take a two-course series in statistics to provide the quantitative skills necessary to do empirical research in Information Systems.

Students follow a checklist which shows classes and milestones. However adequate time is allowed for customization and independent research. Many core classes and electives are in other departments, such as Economics, Statistics and Scientific Computation, Management, and Marketing.  Students generally spend 2-3 years in coursework, then 2-3 years focusing on independent study and dissertation. Most students graduate in their fifth year of the doctoral program.

Faculty, University, Austin

The IROM Department has an outstanding group of faculty with diverse research interests. Many of its members have achieved international recognition for their contributions to both theoretical and applied research. Faculty members in the IS concentration hold important editorial positions with leading journals such as MIS Quarterly, Information Systems Research, Management Science, and Organization Science. Current Information Systems faculty members can be found at the IROM Faculty Directory.

The university offers an invigorating environment of scholarship set within the technology-rich city of Austin. The campus boasts premier schools and departments in Engineering, Economics, Social Science, and Public Policy, and is also home to one of the largest and best funded library systems in the country. The city of Austin is a major operating base for top technology firms such as Apple Computers, AMD, Applied Materials, Dell, Freescale, IBM, Samsung, and Sun. It is located within driving distance to the business and medical hubs of Dallas and Houston. The McCombs School of Business also hosts the Center for Research in Electronic Commerce and the Center for Business, Technology and Law, both established with collaboration and support from several leading firms. These and other connections that the school and university have with businesses and government provide many opportunities to interact with practitioners and policy makers.

Student Placement

Graduates from the IS concentration typically pursue tenure-track faculty positions at both U.S. and international universities. In the past five years, our IS students have been placed as assistant professors upon graduation at institutions such as the University of Rochester, Georgia Institute of Technology, the University of Connecticut, the University of Calgary, Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, the University of Hong Kong, the Indian School of Business, Singapore Management University, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, and the Southern Methodist University.

Page last updated: 12/7/2011